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Animal rights protest at London fashion week

Activitist protest the use of fur in fashion – despite none appearing in the show protested

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A large group of animal rights activists protested the use of animal fur in the fashion industry, outside the Burberry show on the 16th of September. Footage from the scene shows some 250 impassioned protesters confronting celebrities entering the show, including Vogue editor Anna Wintour, grime star Stormzy, and supermodel Kate Moss.

Smeared in fake blood and shouting the word “Shame”, the protests set the show back significantly. Ironically, the show itself was absent of any fur.

Animal rights and particularly fur for fashion is a seasoned issue and protests of this kind are common around fashion week. However, this was one of the biggest anti-fur protests fashion week had seen, with protests earlier that day at the Gareth Pugh show and a three-day demonstration at the British Fashion Council.

Have they still a need to protest or have we seen a change in the industry? Well in recent years there seems to have been an increased moral awareness surrounding the fashion industry, with what appear to be reforming attempts. With Vegetarianism and Veganism at an all-time high, many cosmetic and clothing brands now offer plant-based alternatives to animal materials.

For example, many major designers, as well as large-scale retailers such as Selfridges, refuse to make or sell animal fur products, instead choosing alternative materials such as polyester. The British outerwear faux fur brand Shrimps founded by Hannah Weiland in 2013, even opened London fashion week this year.

Furthermore, on the consumer end fast fashion has meant that people are also more inclined economically to make faux fur purchases as they are significantly more budget friendly.

Nevertheless, statistics show that more than one billion rabbits are still killed annually for their fur, along with countless other animals.

PETA, an animal rights organization says that the animals on fur farms spend their lives ‘confined to cramped, filthy wire cages’, killed by the cruellest methods ‘including suffocation, electrocution, gas and poisoning’.

Although high fashion has largely reformed its fur policies, animals across the world are still being slaughtered needlessly. Therefore, despite changes in the industry, fur farming is still a major issue and awareness is necessary.